NGV Triennial

Liam Young
Planet City



Liam Young Interview

Planet City 2020 is a newly commissioned immersive film by Australian film director and speculative architect Liam Young. His most ambitious project to date, the 15-minute animated short film provides a window into an alternative urban future that has been created as an antidote to the climate crisis. Planet City is simultaneously an extraordinary image of tomorrow and a provocative examination of the pertinent questions that are facing us today. The work represents a speculation on what might happen if we radically reverse the sprawl of cities – a planned retreat from all existing countries into a microcosm of the planet. Planet City is the city for us all, housing the world’s population in one super dense (but workable) city. Based on extensive research, involving a global think-tank of advisors and collaborators, including costume design by Ane Crabtree (The Handmaid’s Tale), and choreography by Jacob Jonas, the film presents what it would mean to house all humans and their attendant infrastructure and resources in a city for seven billion, returning the rest of the globe to heal as a vast wilderness without us.

Liam Young is an Australian film director and speculative architect whose work spans architecture, urban futurism and critical design. His debut US solo exhibition, New Romance (2017), was held at the Columbia University Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery, and presented three short films exploring the relationship between love and future technologies. He is the co-author of the book series Unknown Fields: Tales from the Dark Side of the City (2016), consisting of six illustrated stories inspired by journeys through remote landscapes that impact the development of modern technology. Young is also the founder of the Urban Futures think tank Tomorrow’s Thoughts Today and was named by Blueprint Magazine as one of ‘25 people who will change architecture and design’.

Principal Partner, Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific, has committed to offering a carbon-neutral range of cars by 2039. CEO and Managing Director, Horst von Sanden, said Planet City raises thought-provoking perspectives on urban life in future years. ‘Our challenge today is to plan for a sustainable and vibrant future, and it’s vital to foster these conversations. Mercedes-Benz is proud to partner with Liam and his work for NGV Triennial 2020.’


The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Major Supporter Bagôt Gjergja Foundation for their support.